As children head back to school, some of their biggest concerns often involve making friends, “fitting in” and navigating relationships. But when a child has good, healthy friendships, the benefits can include increased self-esteem and appropriate emotional growth.
So how can parents better understand social development and its impact on their children? There’s a fact sheet for that! Our “Making Friends” and “Formando Amistades” fact sheets are a great tool to share as students return to the classroom. They include 4 simple questions to ask kids as they begin to build new friendships this year:
“Who do you know that likes to do the same things you do?”
“What makes someone a good friend? How do they make you feel?”
“What is one kind thing you did for someone today?”
When something negative happens with a friend, ask your child, “What can you do differently next time? How do you think your friend is feeling?”
Working with parents and children on making connections and building good relationships? You might also be interested in our Parent Resource Center fact sheets on:
Back-to-school season can be a time of changes and challenges for families with school-aged children. Sharing information and tools like these can be a great way to connect with parents when they need it most:
Advocating for Your Child in School: Help parents connect with teachers and school staff in constructive ways at the beginning of the school year, and learn how to communicate throughout the year by working with teachers to put the child’s needs first.
Bullying: Increase parents’ understanding of bullying, how it happens and what they can do to be aware of its impact on their own children.
The Importance of Routine: The beginning of the school year means new schedules and activities – how can parents establish healthy routines, and why does it matter?
Positive Communication with Children: How can parents keep kids talking to them about their experiences and feelings? (And how can they really listen and respond in the best way?) Positive communication is critical for parents who are working to connect with their kids in meaningful, lasting ways.
Unplug with your Child: What are the best ways to reconnect after spending the day apart at school and work? How can unplugging as a family help children and parents lower stress, grow closer and build resiliency?
And one more thing—perhaps “back-to-school” is the perfect time for parents to take a class, join a support group or attend a workshop to strengthen their parenting skills. Browse SCAN’s Parent Connection Resource Guide for a list of offerings for parents from dozens of organizations and agencies across Northern Virginia this fall.